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We know that preparing for a new arrival is exciting for the whole family. The process of nesting, readying the home and nursery, is an important time where expectant parents can create the perfect space for the whole family.
For such a central part of the family home, how much do we put into preparing it? Who spends more time carefully choosing colours and furniture?
What are the most desired themes?
We ran a survey* to understand just how valuable the nursery is to expectant parents.
When anticipating a new arrival, parents are happy to splash out on their baby’s first room. Every purchase for a little one is an exciting part of the preparations, and each represents a memory – this will be baby’s first bed, first blanket, first toy, meaning we’re often willing to go the extra mile.
This isn’t just for the nursery either. The average parent will spend more than £5,300 decorating a child's bedroom before they reach their 10th birthday.
On top of baby clothes, shoes and more, the average parent spends a further £853 to furnish and decorate their nursery. It’s spent on picking the perfect walls, flooring, furniture, bedding and accessories (like baby bouncers).
It doesn’t stop there – on average, a child’s room is redecorated every 2 years, with the average parent spending £900 each time.
Dads were more likely to agree that they don't care how much a child's room costs
Dads were more likely than mums to agree that they “don’t care how much it costs to decorate their child’s room, so long as they’re happy in it” (50%, versus 30% of mums surveyed).
While nesting is a well-known part of the process for expectant mums, the excitement of a new arrival also encourages dads to invest in getting the nursery just right.
Just 27% of young parents (18-24) bought everything new, while 57% of older parents (55+) hit the high street for everything when decorating a child’s room.
Older parents are more likely to buy everything brand new
London parents spend an average of £1,779: 4x more than parents in the South West
Thrifty parents in the South West spend an average of £411 kitting out a nursery, while lavish Londoners spend just over four times that amount.
This is in addition to some second-hand pieces for three quarters (75%) of Londoners – it’s often a blend of old and new that provides the perfect match. These might be cherished family pieces, or simply a new life for a useful item or two.
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The average parent spends over 20 hours to make sure everything is just right in their new nursery. That’s as much as 3 working days, or the length of 14 football matches.This extends from the first decisions to the finishing touches – a worthy investment given that a parent will be spending plenty of quality time there, making memories with their little one.
A South West parent spends 15 hours, while parents in London give a generous 29
Parents in London also invest the most time in the nursery, with a generous 29 hours dedicated to décor.
At the other end of the scale, parents in the South West spend an average of 15 hours selecting colours, themes, furniture to create the ideal space for their new arrival.
Over half of dads (54%) thought they spent too much time and money on decorating the nursery – compared to just 35% of mums.
Despite admitting this, dads were still more likely to wish they’d spent more money on several items, even the nursing chair (32% versus 11%).
Dads are more likely to feel they spent too much time and money on the nursery
Parents over 55 spend the most time on the nursery
On average, older parents spend an extra day’s work on the nursery – that’s 27 hours spent carefully choosing and creating their little one’s room.
When it comes to our children, every little decision can feel monumentally important – and choosing what furniture goes into the nursery is no different.
A calming environment for little ones to rest, grow and develop is essential to every parent. This makes choices around colour, items and layout extra important for creating the perfect space.
“Babies are happier when surrounded by soothing pastel shades. Following birth they have a lot of adjusting to do and thrive in a calming coloured environment for the first few months,” explains colour psychologist June McLeod.
Parents are increasingly moving away from traditional choices and heading towards gender-neutral colours to decorate their young one’s bedroom.
Over half of parents (57%) now opt for neutral or brighter hues instead of the traditional “pink for a girl, blue for a boy” – with 36% choosing this kind of colour scheme.
Just 60% of parents agreed that a cot is one of the most important items
While we might think our bed is the most important part of our bedroom, parents often feel differently about their baby’s space. Just 60% of parents surveyed said that a cot was one of the most important elements of a nursery.
Other parents prioritised things like lighting, storage space, colourful wallpaper and wall art.
With so much time and money invested, it’s no wonder we want to show off what we create.
A parent shares an average of 3 posts on Facebook, Instagram or Pinterest showing off their child’s newly decorated room.
The average parent shares 3 pictures on social media showing off a newly decorated room
68% of parents agree that the design and décor of a nursery is important
Creating a nursery for a new little one is about so much more than just cots and colours. It’s just one of the many ways we prepare our homes and ourselves for a special new arrival.
The nursery is a space where the whole family spends a great deal of time, creating precious memories that will last a lifetime. Perhaps it’s no wonder that we’re willing to use our valuable time, money and effort to get it right.
Looking for a little nursery inspiration? The Next Home Design Service helps you create the perfect room for your little one, using your ideas and our experts – or start by taking a look at our range.
Shop the complete nursery range
Discover the full survey results
*Survey of 2,000 UK adults with children aged between 0-10 years
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